Say ‘No’ to gene patents


Cancer Voices compelling argument for 'No' to gene patents by changing the law at

US based company Myriad Genetics has retained the patent for exclusive licence to the BRCA1 gene in a court challenge by Yvonne D’Arcy and Cancer Voices Australia. On 15 Feb 2013 the Federal Court ruled that the BRCA1 gene could be patented, as it had been isolated completely separately from the human body.  This was upheld by the Federal Court Decision (D'arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc) on the BrCa1 Gene Patent Appeal on 5 Sept 2014.


The gene could be used to identify an increased risk of cancers in humans, but tests are controlled by Myriad Genetics although it has not been enforcing its rights to control research and testing. Cancer Voices had argued the patent would stifle research.

Cancer Voices Australia support an Amendment to the Patents Act 1990 to exclude the ability to grant patents over DNA that is not markedly different to anything found in nature (i.e. whether within the body or “isolated”).  We also strongly support the concept of protecting genuine discovery and innovation via our patent system, so that true achievement in that area is adequately rewarded.


Find out more:
U.S. Supreme Court invalidated patents on two genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer – BRCA1 and BRCA2 - in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation. 14Jun2013 






Cancer Voices South Australia


Ph.  0405 806 857 


PO Box 588, Kensington Park SA 5068